Hounds of Love Revisited

Brian C. Poole
4 min readJun 12, 2022

Kate Bush is having a moment with her classic 1985 album Hounds of Love.

The fourth season of Stranger Things has prominently featured that album’s signature single “Running Up That Hill.” The exposure has propelled “Running” back onto various charts, while creating a burst of interest in Bush’s classic work.

Bush’s 1978 debut, The Kick Inside, was a much-praised release and became one of several key, late ’70s albums that helped midwife the 1980s alternative music scene. Her first single, “Wuthering Heights,” grew into an influential standard of the art rock genre. Bush became a big star in her native U.K. and throughout much of Europe, though was more of a cult figure in other territories. In North America, she gained some exposure at the nascent modern rock radio format and had some of her more rhythmic cuts percolate in the U.S. club scene.

The reception of Bush’s next three releases was somewhat mixed. Critical reaction was less enthusiastic than what she’d garnered with her debut, though each contained elements that appealed to reviewers. The albums were more successful with fans, selling well and solidifying Bush’s reputation as a key figure in the ’80s alternative scene. 1982’s The Dreaming helped raise her profile in several markets and was her first charting album in the U.S. By the fall of 1985, it wasn’t that Bush had anything to prove with her new album, exactly. But the stage was set for her to make an artistic statement and break free of the “British star/niche artist elsewhere” box into which her career had been slotted to that point. The result was Hounds of Love, an international hit that brought the artist to greater prominence, while garnering critical praise the likes of which she hadn’t seen since her debut.

Structured as two extended suites (“Hounds of Love” and “The Ninth Wave”) that matched up with the two sides of the album in its original vinyl and cassette releases, Hounds of Love showed an artist taking the time to craft a strong, cohesive work, thinking about what she wanted to say and recording it in a way that…

Brian C. Poole

Author (Grievous Angels) and pop culture gadabout #amwriting